AUDIO NOTE Kit One amplifier – upgrades

This ‘integrated’ single-ended 300B kit amp was introduced by Audio Note UK in the mid 1990s.  This example was built by me in 1997.

The standard Kit One looks plain and unattractive, so I dressed it up with some Kondo-copper aesthetic!

Not inexpensive (around GBP799 in 1997), this was however a quite good sounding 300B SE amp. Continue reading


McINTOSH MR71 vintage tuner upgrade

The McIntosh MR71 vacuum tube FM stereo tuner was in production from 1963 to 1969 and retailed for US$399.  (Today a good MR71 can still command a price 5 times that!)

The MR71 was the last tube tuner made by McIntosh and, together with the earlier MR67 model, is regarded as the best tube tuner that McIntosh made. Continue reading

SUN AUDIO SV-2A3 amplifier

This Japanese single-ended, vacuum tube amplifier can be purchased in ‘kit’ form or fully assembled.

Power output is 3.5 watts/channel.   Supplied with Russian Sovtek tubes – 2A3 (2), 6SN7 (2), 5U4G (1).   Amplifier weight is 16 kgs.

Input Sensitivity is high (150mV), so with the in-built volume controls, this amplifier will accept Line level sources easily. Continue reading

Every face tells a story – PERU portraits

Peruvians are known for their genial warmth and hospitality.

Peru today has a mixed population but is still predominantly ‘Amerindian’ (indigenous American indians).  There are many ‘mestizos’ (mixed Amerindian-Spanish/European) but less so in the Andean highlands, away from the capital, Lima.  And also a significant Asian (Japanese, Chinese) population or mixed ethnicity. Continue reading

‘Adagio’ TDA1541A non-oversampling DAC

When I first listened to DACs, I concluded quite quickly that ‘multi-bit’ DACs sounded more like music to me, than ‘bitstream’ DACs – more dynamic & ‘alive’.

The TDA1541 was originally developed by Philips (in 1985) as a high performance stereo DAC.  The ‘A’ version was manufactured between 1989-1995.  It was (is still?) regarded as one of the best sounding DACs ever made.  This chip was used in almost 100 different CD players Continue reading

Less is More

Arguably still the most sublimely uncomplicated and beautiful example of modern architecture sits at the foot of Mont Juic in Barcelona city in Catalunya, Spain.

The German Pavilion, constructed for the Barcelona International Exposition of 1929, was designed by German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Continue reading